More and more Brandenburg residents are applying for housing subsidies. At the same time, demand for tips on how to save energy is rising significantly, according to a survey conducted by German Press Agency. According to the data, around 6,500 citizens applied for housing allowance in Potsdam in September. In the same month last year, the city sent out around 4700 housing benefit notices, while in September 2020 the figure was just under 3600.
The number of housing benefit applications also increased significantly in Cottbus: 358 applications were submitted in September, around 15 percent more than in the previous month. In September 2021, there were just under 230 applications. Frankfurt (Oder) has reportedly seen about 55 percent more initial applications since April of this year compared to the same period last year, as well as an increasing need for individual counseling on housing assistance.
And this trend is likely to continue due to rising cost pressures for energy and food. "We expect a tripling of households entitled to housing benefit," said a spokeswoman for the state capital Potsdam. According to estimates, a good 18,000 applications for housing benefit are expected in the coming year.
In Frankfurt, too, the city is preparing for an increasing number of applications. Since there is currently no new legal regulation, individual advice on a possible housing benefit claim is currently only possible to a limited extent, it was said. The city is therefore working towards a later application date, so that the city on the Oder is expecting a higher number of applications from November onwards.
From January, more households in Germany are to receive a state rent subsidy. Housing benefit is also to be increased by an average of 190 euros a month. However, the federal and state governments have so far been at odds over how to finance the increase in housing benefit.
Housing benefit is a state subsidy for rent for households that do not receive social benefits but still have little money. In the future, people who earn minimum wage or have a pension of a comparable amount will also be able to apply for housing benefit.
At the same time, more and more households are seeking advice and help on how to save energy. At the consumer center Brandenburg there were up to August of this year approximately 3100 consultation - well 70 per cent more than in the same period last year -, communicated the organization on inquiry. In addition more than 1200 persons - and thus five times as many as in the previous year - would have participated in lectures of the consumer center on the topic energy saving.
Main topic with the consulting discussions is thus the change from fossil to renewable energies. In particular the exchange of gas heatings and the installation of heat pumps as well as the installation of a solar plant are in strong demand. Due to the increased demand, the consumer advice center is offering more appointments for telephone and video advice as well as more online presentations, it said.
Photo by Maria Ziegler